Fatma 75

Selma Baccar

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Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere | II. Revolution and Civil War (Here) Fatma 75
Selma Baccar

61 Minutes
Courtesy of Africa in Motion

Repeat: Wednesday, February 16

University student Fatma goes on a historical, feminist voyage and gathers interviews with iconic women from history. Fatma speaks to aristocratic women from the ancient past and contemporary revolutionaries involved in the struggle for Tunisian independence. Particular focus lies on developments from the 1930s to the 1950s, when Tunisian women were increasingly struggling for emancipation and the controversial Personal Status Law was passed, which aimed at the institutionalized equality of women and men. The innovative style of docu-fiction allows director Selma Baccar to present a fictional narrative element interspersed with actual interview footage, re-enactments of historical circumstances, and archival material. Didactic and instructive in its tone, the film has gained mythical status, certainly aided by its rarity and previous unavailability for screenings due to censorship.

Selma Baccar’s Fatma 75 is presented within Revolution and Civil War (Here)​, the second of five chapters in Memories for Forgetfulness Elsewhere, an online film program curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz for e-flux Video & Film. The program streams in five thematic group screenings each two weeks long, and will be accompanied by two live discussions.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Film, Feminism
Documentary, Fiction, Revolution
Return to II. Revolution and Civil War (Here)

Selma Baccar (b. 1943) is a pioneer of Tunisian cinema and television. Like many other filmmakers from Tunisia, Baccar studied abroad at the French Institute of Cinema, but she was one of the few female directors who returned to Tunis when her studies had finished. She concentrated on Tunisian television and on producing documentaries and women’s films. Together with her ciné-club peers Najer Maabouj, Saadia Guellala, and Sabah Fattah, she worked on several anti-establishment productions. Fatma 75 was Baccar’s first feature-length docu-fiction and the first feature film directed by a woman in post-independence Tunisia. Even though the film was banned from screenings in Tunisia until 2006 it received international acclaim, and Baccar’s work continues to be lauded at film festivals today. Baccar has been an inherent part of the transition Tunisia has undergone since 2011: she sat on the Assemblée Constituante as one of the team who rewrote the Tunisian constitution.


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